Biometric Technology For Averting Terrorism

For Indians, it has been a week of news shows and newspapers reporting news stories about terrorism. But even if we keep this week apart, the past two years have seen terror raising its ugly head like never before. It really is the biggest threat to mankind in the 21st century. Not a day goes by without an outrageous piece of news, of innocents losing their lives in barbaric attacks. Even as I type up this article, I hope that governments across the globe are doing everything they can to keep their respective nations safe by averting terror plots and paying due attention to national security.

Among several different technologies that are used to enforce law and avert terrorism, biometrics is one. To give a little bit of an insight, biometric technology uses the measurable biological and behavioural attributes of a person to verify their identity. No two people in the world have identical physical characteristics. For example, fingerprints. However, unique features are not limited to fingerprints alone; every individual has different patterns in their iris, different facial characteristics (Like the distance between the eyes and the ears, and so on.), and so on.

7 out of 19 hijackers who were a part of the 9/11 attacks were known to the US authorities. However, since they forged their documents for an entry into the United States, they could not be identified. Had biometric technology being used, one of the world’s most cowardly terror attack could have been averted, say experts. That said, implementation of biometrics is not an easy job. Surely, in order to scan the iris of one of the world’s most wanted terrorist, he would need to be arrested first. However, in the coming years, the technology would be increasingly used for ensuring that no unauthorized individual accesses sensitive facilities at airports, forges documents, and terrorists are identified.

As it is, biometrics are being increasingly used by agencies in areas related to terrorism and security. A toolkit was used to identify the world’s most wanted fugitive (As per the FBI) in his Abbottabad hide out by the US security forces. A DNA sample had verified the identity of the terrorist. In the present day world, HIIDE, (Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment) the biometric device is becoming increasingly common. It is able to take fingerprint, iris and facial images.

Regardless of whichever technology we may use, here is hoping for a world safer and more peaceful!

Pungky Dwiasmoro Hiswardhani

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